by Stephanie Powell
You’ve mastered a bevy of chords and you can fingerpick like no other—and now you’re ready to create guitar videos for YouTube. Crafting YouTube content can lead to major breakthroughs for artists, but to gain traction, you’ll need to ensure that your videos are of the highest caliber. This will require a few more things beyond your guitar and a camera phone. Here are a few tips for creating your YouTube channel as a guitarist and how to make the most of your guitar videos online.
6 Things You Need to Record Guitar Videos for YouTube
If you’ve been recording your videos with your iPhone, think again. There is an endless world of gear out there that can take your guitar content from 0 to 100, all with just a few simple investments.
How to Optimize Your Guitar Videos on YouTube
So, you’ve created the content, but now what? Even if you are the songbird of your generation that doesn’t guarantee that your guitar video will go viral on YouTube. Here are some tips, tricks, and ways to optimize your video so you get the most out of your digital endeavors.
- Content is key. What type of guitar videos are you planning on making? If you’re planning on offering lessons and tutorials, make sure your YouTube channel focuses on that in the beginning and has plenty of content offer. The way you brand yourself matters. That doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and include covers or original music, but consistency does matter. Your subscribers need to know why they are subscribing. Other types of content that do well: gear reviews or demos, unboxing videos, and industry news and trending topics.
- SEO optimization makes all the difference. Use keywords! SEO isn’t a as mysterious as it seems. Starting with keywords will take you far. How would you summarize your video? How would you search for a similar video on the internet? See if you can distill that down into a few keywords like “acoustic guitar blues lesson.” Once you have your keywords, make sure they appear in the video title, description, and tags on YouTube.
- Customize your channel. It’s not enough to just start uploading your videos to YouTube. When a possible subscriber lands on your content, having a professional YouTube page set up can make all the difference. Consider filling out your About section—what can subscribers expect from your page and tell them a bit about your background with guitar. Add a background photo that has branding or is compelling. Create playlists that make subscribers want to come back from more.
- Detailed video description. Make sure to include keywords and relevant information from your lesson, gear review, or unboxing video that lets the subscriber know what your video is about. Using keywords from the title of the video and words that you actually use in the video sends a signal to Google that can help you rank higher for specific search queries.
- Add a card. YouTube has the option to add “Cards” to your videos. Cards appear in the corner of the video screen with a CTA, or call to action, that users can click on. Once clicked on, the card will expand and show an image and headline. This is a great way to generate traffic back to your website or link to another one of your guitar video lessons on YouTube, increasing your engagement and keeping users on your channel and interacting with your content longer.
- Consistency is the secret. It’s not enough to post one video and wait for it to go viral. Don’t lose hope if your first five videos are only gaining single-digit views in the beginning. It takes time to build up an audience and it also takes time for Google and other search engines to index your new content. Staying consistent with your content creation will show prospective subscribers that you are serious and that there’s a reason to subscribe.
- Create a unique thumbnail for your video. You don’t need to select the plain Jane thumbnail options that YouTube displays during the uploading process. YouTube also gives an option for creators to upload custom thumbnail graphics. If you’re teaching a lesson on fingerpicking, perhaps create an image with a still of yourself with the guitar and the lesson title. There are many free apps you can use to create graphics, but one that works well is Adobe Spark.
- Your background matters. That’s right—don’t film yourself playing guitar in front of your laundry basket and unmade bed. Think of your background as your set. You’re creating high-quality content and the background you chose to film matters. So, treat it as such.
- Give a performance! This is your time to sell yourself—wear your personality on your sleeve and perform! It’s easy to tell if someone is having fun, so make sure you have an enthusiastic tone, avoid speaking in monotone, and use hand/arm gestures to liven up your content.